Christmas treats

December 16, 2010

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Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. – Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year! Except for the cold.. I am terrified of cold even though I live in South Texas. 50 F is freezing for me and it only snows in South Texas once a hundred years. No joke.

About a week ago, people gathered in front of the Texas Capital in Austin to sing Christmas carols and watch the lighting of the Christmas tree. Austin’s probably the only place that you can sing carols in flip flops and a light sweater. That’s what I love about Austin. And the people. It was nice to see everyone gather together and spread the holiday joy. They even closed down the main street of downtown for the festivities. And they lined balloons down the streets!

Photo credits: Patrick Lu

Peppermint bits, candy canes, peppermint cookies, peppermint topped cupcakes, peppermint sprinkled cakes, peppermint flavored ice cream, and the list goes on and on. Peppermint is a staple of Christmas and I just can’t get enough of it.
Did you know it’s used medicinally to treat IBS and the aroma of peppermint has be found to enhance memory?

Cookie cutters.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without festive decorated cookies. Snowflakes, gingerbread men, Christmas trees, candy canes, stars… you get the idea. My favorite cookie for this holiday would definitely have to be the gingerbread men. There’s just something about the smell of fresh nutmeg and molasses being baked into a cookie that is pleasurable. And when that smell sneaks out of the kitchen and into the rest the house, it seems to add on more of that holiday cheer.
And let’s not forget about those gingerbread houses!

Eggs, flour, & butter.
The gods of baking. Nothing is possible without them, well at least in my baking. I went through a pound of flour and sugar, and 2 dozen of eggs in a week of baking.
I also made several batches of macarons and meringues so there’s a leftover container full of ~13 yolks. Any ideas what I should do with them?

My Christmas 2010 treats.
Peppermint bark
Peppermint macarons
Gingerbread men cookies
Chocolate & peppermint meringue kisses
Marshmallows with peppermint
Gingerbread Christmas trees
Chocolate coated pretzel rods with peppermint
Snowflake cake
Peanut brittle
“Hot” chocolate

So why did I bake all of these in one week? I’ll be going home (Port Lavaca) for winter break. Since I”m not sure of what my winter plans are yet, if I’ll be staying in Texas or flying out, I baked up a storm and tried to get as many good photos as I could in this terrible winter lighting. I was covered in nutmeg, sugar, and chocolate for several days during exam week! I will be posting these treats up every couple of days so check back.

2 pound of flour, 1 pound of sugar, 2 dozen eggs, and one man down.. 
In the midst of my baking frenzy, my very faithful and loyal whisk broke when I was whipping up egg whites 🙁
Maybe I will bring my kitchen aid in the Spring?
Also I’m in the market for a good kitchen scale, any suggestions?

RIP Mr. Whisk


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.